'Definitely bizarre': Athens police investigate after bags of decapitated animals found

·2 min read

Some residents of Cedar Shoals Drive in Athens, Georgia smelled an odor recently that one resident described as "absolutely horrifying."

When another resident saw a bag in the woods with an animal's leg sticking out, residents decided to contact police, according to an Athens-Clarke police report.

What officers found was "definitely bizarre," police Lt. Shaun Barnett said Tuesday.

Police found more than 20 bags containing the decapitated remains of pigeons, chickens and goats, according to the report made Saturday and released Tuesday.

Among the dead animals was also a small pig that was not beheaded, the report said.

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Police contacted the Athens-Clarke County Animal Control Unit, which collected some of the carcasses as part of the investigation.

Based on the condition of the decaying bodies, police estimated they were dumped at the location a few weeks ago. Another dumping site was found, and it appeared those animals were dumped as long ago as last autumn.

In the more recent dumping, the officer reported "the goats, chickens and pigeons were without an attached head."

However, some of the heads were found in other bags, and one goat's head retained a livestock tag near the ear, according to the report.

The site was located in a wooded area near apartments and duplexes and almost opposite Cedar Shoals High School.

Currently, police don't have a reason for why the farm animals were killed, but Barnett said most farms have ways of disposing dead animals. He also said there are some religious sects that practice animal sacrifice, but officers don't know if that was involved in this case.

The investigation was turned over to Detective Sgt. Leonard Thomas, Barnett said.

One resident of the complex told police that recently when he left for work about 4 a.m., he saw a suspicious dark-colored Lexus and an older-model pickup in the parking lot that accesses the wooded area.

The man told police he did not believe the vehicles belonged to any of the residents or their guests.

Barnett said that anyone with Ring-camera video related to the incident is asked to contact police. Those with information can contact Thomas at (762) 400-7359 or leonard.thomas@accgov.com.

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Athens-Clarke police investigating bags of decapitated animals